29 Dec 2008

Protests across Arab world

8:48 am on 29 December 2008

Demonstrators took to the streets across the Arab world on Sunday in protests against Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

The largest protests have been in Egypt, where people have also protested aganist their own government.

In Damascus, Israeli and American flags were burned as thousands of people demonstrated in the city centre. Security was tight around the US embassy.

Israeli flags were also burned in the Jordanian capital Amman, where hundreds of people demanded the closure of the Israeli embassy.

Jordanian deputies burnt an Israeli flag during a parliamentary session on Sunday to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab governments to have signed peace treaties with Israel.

In Beirut, the Egyptian embassy was attacked by stone-throwing demonstrators and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Protests were held in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, home to some 400,000 refugees displaced when Israel was established in 1948.

A demonstration in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was interrupted when a suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up among the crowd, killing one person and wounding 16.

Relief supplies

Governments around the region promised to send relief supplies for the 1.5 million people in Gaza.

Jordan, Libya and non-Arab Greece and Iran all promised to send aid.

Jordan said it was dispatching 16 trucks to Gaza, carrying aid including 800 blood units.

Iran said it would send two aircraft to Cairo to deliver 25 tonnes of rice, sugar and canned food.